Three Decades Monitoring of Shoreline Change Pattern of Damietta Promontory, Nile Delta, Egypt

Ayman A. El-Gamal, Sherif H. Balbaa, Mohamed A. Rashed, Ahmed S. Mansour


The Nile Delta is located on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast extending along nearly 240 km from the east of Alexandria to Port Said. The coastal area of the Nile Delta Promontories has been suffering extensive erosion problem. This was achieved after the construction of many water regulation structures in Nile River as dams and barrages, particularly the Aswan High Dam. It has nearly stopped the sediment flux carried by the Nile River to the Delta. This process has caused the Mediterranean Sea to reshape the Nile Delta coastal area. In order to cease these problems several engineering hard structures have been built. These structures avoided in ceasing the problem in the site of construction but shifted the erosion problem to the adjacent sites. This study aimed to analyze the shoreline change pattern on the term of three decades during the period between 1985 to 2015 at the coastal strip of Damietta Promontory and the impact of these protective structures on the coastal area. This was accomplished by the automated delineation of the successive shorelines covering this period using remote sensing imagery. The shorelines were extracted using the MNDWI index. The extracted shorelines were manipulated through the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) software. The shoreline change rates were compared with sediments grain size for the past thirty years, heavy minerals content and radioactivity of recent marine sediment samples collected from different locations of marine profiles over the study area. The study revealed that Damietta Promontory has suffered from erosion during the study period reached its maximum shoreline retreat at the eastern side, nearly – 43 m/y. The total cumulative shoreline regression during the study period at this area was 1311m. The relation between the shoreline change process (erosion or accretion) and the physical parameters of coastal sediment showed that; as erosion increases, the heavy minerals content and radioactivity increases, while the mean grain size decreases and vice versa.

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